How to reduce moving costsYou may have read left and right that moving house is too stressful – so stressful that it’s usually ranked as one of the most anxious and worrisome events in life. Just add the fact that the moving process is notoriously expensive too, and you’ll probably be genuinely stressed out even before the real moving preparations start.

Let’s get this straight: moving home is both stressful and expensive – nobody can possibly deny that – but there’s also a bunch of sunrays at the end of the tunnel in the shape of proven ways to save money on your move. And once you’re able to keep more savings into your bank account, then you’ll quickly notice how your move-related stress level starts to decrease until it drops down to its NORMAL value.

Moving on a budget is definitely not fun but you can still make it work without too much hassle.

Follow these 7 ways to save money on moving costs to keep things running smoothly from Day 1.

1. Take total control of your budget

The very first thing you need to do to keep more money in your own pocket is to be very cautious about how you go about spending your own money during the moving process. This is a relatively simple idea that is really hard to implement. And in order to make this idea work, you need to create a budget as early in your pre-move period as possible.

Cheap ways to move out

A moving budget will enable you to have more control over your moving expenses.

A moving budget is fairly easy to make (it’ll still take time and some effort though), and the great thing about it is that it will enable you to monitor your move-related expenses more closely and do something about it when you feel that you must.

For example, let’s say you’ve allocated a certain amount of money to secure the required packing supplies and you go over the limit without even realizing it. Now, when you have all the expected moving expenses in one place, it’s much easier to control those costs by keeping the budget up-to-date.

One solution to the overspending scenario in the example, as you will learn below, is to either concentrate on getting packing materials for free or to use the ones you already have in your home. Or you can do both, of course.

Another bonus of having a moving budget – that is saving money on your move by not spending money that you don’t have – is to do some preliminary calculations of whether you have saved enough to cover the moving costs in the first place. A possible scenario where you go into debt due to pre-move miscalculations will practically put an end to any brave attempts to move house cheaply.

Make sure your budget includes the

  • moving company expenses (plus all charges for additional services),
  • self-moving expenses (if you’ve made the informed decision to move by yourself),
  • vehicle transportation expenses (if applicable),
  • immediate post-relocation costs (oh, yes!), and
  • any unexpected expenses (as far as you can foresee them).

What to Budget for When Moving Out: Moving Budget Checklist

2. Hire an affordable moving company

Of course, you’ll soon be looking for the cheapest ways to move cross country, and that way comes down to finding and employing the services of a low-cost moving company. This frugal way of having your household items moved between two homes makes a lot of sense, so you should definitely do your best to take advantage of it. The only obstacle along the way will be where to find cheap movers that still offer quality moving services.

Cheap ways to move furniture

No, it’s not going to work. Get yourself a low-cost moving company instead.

To find the level of moving cost affordability that you’re after, your first step is to get price quotes from several different companies so that you can sit down and compare those offers carefully.

The good news is that the cost estimates you will receive won’t cost you a dime, so there’s nothing for you to lose during that period of hunting down a good moving company you can afford.

Requesting moving costs estimates is super easy – the hardest part comes next when you’re expected to compare the various movers and pick up the one that will best fit your budget and schedule, and will meet your requirements and expectations.

In order to save money on your move, don’t agree on moving estimates offered to you over the phone or via e-mail as they cannot possibly be as accurate as you need. If you say Yes, you will most likely get moving company quotes that won’t reflect accurately the final price, and that will burden additionally your budget.

What you should do instead is to ask the moving companies that have contacted you to visit your home for on-site surveys. Keep in mind that having moving experts inspect in person the things you intend to move is still the best way to move cheaply across the country with the assistance of a reasonably-priced moving company.

How to Find Cheap Movers in 10 Simple Steps

3. Schedule your move to save money

One indirect way to save money on your move is to pick a move-out date that will help you reduce the moving price without any effort from you. Now, how is that even possible?

Ways to move cheaply

Schedule your move on a date that’ll help you bring down the moving cost.

It’s important to understand that moving company rates vary during the different times of the year. For example, during the height of the moving season (May-September), professional movers charge more because their services are in great demand. All this means that during the off-peak season (September-May), moving companies tend to lower their rates because fewer people need their services.

Provided that you’re lucky enough to be able to pick your move-out date, you should definitely look to move out during off-peak moving season simply because you’re likely to get a much better deal from your movers – sometimes up to 30% off the standard movers’ rates, or even more.

To cut moving costs even more, avoid scheduling your move on national holidays, during the weekend, and at the beginning and end of a month. Why? Those are the times when people usually seek professional moving services regardless of the season, either because they are off work then or because their rental leases expire.

So, what’s the best time to move out in terms of saving money on your move? Ideally, you’ll want to move during the off-peak moving season, on a weekday in the middle of a month. Of course, it may not be possible for you to have that scheduling freedom, but if you have it, then make sure you use it to pay less money in the end.

How to Choose the Best Date for Your Move

4. Don’t move items you won’t ever need again

What is the cheapest way to move house? There’s a pretty simple answer to this mind-boggling question: just take fewer items with you to the new home.

Reduce the number of things you’re moving to save money.

It’s really important to point out that this is a cost-saving technique that really works. In reality, the power behind it lies in the way the moving cost is calculated. The price of your move depends on a few major factors, such as:

  • Move distance. It’s a constant value, and there’s nothing you can do to make it work for you.
  • Moving company rates. Make an effort to find a low-cost moving company and you have a chance of really saving money on moving expenses.
  • Extra moving services. Each additional service that your mover completes for you will cost you extra – read below what you can do about that.
  • Time of year. Often underestimated, the time of year you are moving in does make a difference pricewise. Expect to pay more during the high season for the U.S. moving and storage industry (May – September).
  • Shipment weight. And this is where you can easily save money on your move – save loads of money!

Fewer items to move automatically mean reduced weight, and less weight means lower charges by the cross-country moving company you select. Take a good look around your home – can you spot immediately items that you haven’t used in years? No? What about checking in the storage areas of your house or apartment? Moving experts often advise people who are getting ready to move out to get rid of anything they haven’t used in 12 months.

Sort out all of your earthly possessions before you reach the stage where you will start placing them in suitable cardboard boxes. In addition to reducing drastically your moving expenses, the next best thing about purging your home of unnecessary stuff is that you have the great option of selling some of your things for a profit. Whether it’s an online sale or a garage sale, the extra cash you will most likely pocket prior to moving day will make the moving costs more bearable in the end.

How to Get Rid of Stuff When Moving

5. Don’t take any furniture items with you

When moving across the country, you’re likely to cross multiple states and your destination will be hundreds or thousands of miles away from where you are now. Not surprisingly, this type of relocation is very different from moving locally – that is, moving within the same state within a radius of 100 miles.

Cheap moving options

Are you seriously taking that huge couch with you too?

So, in order to save money when moving long distance, one of the best pieces of advice you’ll ever get is to leave your furniture pieces behind. And here’s the reason why: most furniture items are both large and heavy, meaning that their transportation will cost you more money than you’re ready to pay.

As you already know, the moving cost will be calculated on the total weight of your shipment, so the more furniture items you choose to take with you, the higher that relocation cost will be. And vice versa – the fewer furniture pieces you choose to bring with you (ideally, NONE), the less money you’ll pay up in the end.

And here’s the tricky part: when moving long distance, you’ll often pay more money to transport your furniture pieces than to buy brand-new ones after the move is over. Therefore, unless you own antique furniture items that hold great sentimental value for you, you’ll be better off

  • selling the furniture for profit,
  • giving it away to friends or family members if any of them wants it,
  • donating your used furniture to charitable organizations, or
  • disposing of your old furniture in an eco-friendly way.

In addition to saving you money when moving, your sound decision to NOT move any furniture will save you plenty of time as well – time to disassemble it and time to pack it for safe transport. Bear in mind that some of your furniture units may not fit inside your new home or match the overall décor of the new place.

Should You Move Your Furniture or Buy New After the Move?

6. Save big on moving boxes

Finding cheap ways to move your stuff across the country is all about the seemingly small-scale cheap moving ideas, tips, and tricks that, when combined, will make a huge difference for your fledgling moving budget.

Cheap ways to pack for a move

It seems like your mission to find free moving boxes has been highly successful.

Now, you can’t possibly initiate the task of packing your items for a move without getting hold of the right packing supplies first. That is unless you’ve decided to hire professional packers for the job – experienced packers who come with their own array of high-quality packing materials.

So, let’s assume that you will pack up your home by yourself, or at least part of it. What do you need the most when it comes to the required materials? It’s moving boxes, of course.

Even though you’re still going to need to purchase packing paper, bubble wrap, and some packing tape, those versatile cardboard containers make up the biggest packing expense when moving from one home to another.

Here’s the deal: if you manage to find the needed number and sizes of packing boxes without paying for them, then you will surely do yourself a huge favor – most of the time, we’re talking about at least a hundred dollars or more saved on cardboard boxes alone.

So, what’s the cheapest way to get moving boxes? To get them for free, of course.

  • First of all, ask your friends if any of them may have cardboard boxes they don’t really need. Using the much wider reach of preferred social networks is much easier than reaching your pals one by one – a single Facebook or Twitter post can save you tons of time.
  • Secondly, you can easily do a search on specialized online sites such as Freecycle or Craigslist, but make sure your potential box suppliers are all in the area where you live – otherwise, you will lose money.
  • And thirdly, do a quick tour around the largest local businesses, concentrating your efforts on big supermarkets, shopping centers, home electronics stores, and bookstores. Those kinds of stores receive frequent shipments from a wide range of suppliers, and most of the goods they get come in cardboard containers. And, since they are required to recycle those huge amounts of cardboard at the end of the day, you actually have a pretty good chance of scoring free moving boxes for your house move.

Where to Find Free Moving Boxes

7. Believe in your own packing skills

Until now you’ve learned that the cheapest ways to move long distance are to manage your moving budget from the start, to hire a low-cost moving company, to schedule your more smartly, to move only the household items you do need, to leave heavy furniture behind, and to save the money meant for purchasing the required packing materials. So far, so good.

Packing up on your own will save you plenty of money by not having to pay professional packers.

The final cheap moving tip you should definitely consider when moving to a new home is to determine which easier aspects of the move you can manage by yourself and which tougher aspects you’d better leave to the pros. And how will that choice of yours save you money, you wonder?

Knowing that each additional moving service that you ask your moving company to perform – packing, unpacking, disassembly of large furniture, temporary storage, crating, handling of special items, hoisting, and so on – will cost you more money, let’s take a look at the most time-consuming and arduous task of them all. Yes, you guessed it right – it’s packing.

Sometimes it’s hard to make up your mind whether to hire professional packers or to pack your household items by yourself. Packing on your own will save you money, but what about the invested time – how much is your time worth anyway?

Yet, you don’t want the saved packing costs to result in damaged items due to poor packing techniques or improper handling on your part. Moreover, if you own specialty items such as a piano, or a pool table, or a hot tub, then you should definitely seek professional packing services.

Provided that you don’t own any specialty items and you have a bunch of friends who won’t mind helping you out, then you may as well try to save money on moving costs and attempt to pack your home by yourself. The first step? Create a packing timeline that will help you organize your time in the best possible way.

Packing Timeline for Moving: Complete and Unabridged